Sportscaster Bob Costas lit a fuse on Sunday when he suggested a heinous murder-suicide committed by an NFL player might not have happened under stricter gun control.

Costas quoted from a column by Jason Whitlock during the broadcast of "NBC Sunday Night Football," which read:

"Our current gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.

In the coming days, Belcherís actions will be analyzed through the lens of concussions and head injuries. Who knows? Maybe brain damage triggered his violent overreaction to a fight with his girlfriend. What I believe is, if he didnít possess/own a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today."

Costas wasn't out of line in throwing the specter of gun control into the living rooms and bars of the millions watching the Dallas-Philadelphia game. He raised an issue and both sides of it should applaud him for affording the chance to speak about it.

Costas showed the gumption that President Barack Obama has lacked in the wake of two major acts of gun violence in Arizona and Colorado during his term -- acts weighing on the national conscience. After Obama failed to respond with anything other than empathy, guns were notably absent from the presidential debates and election.

The president is a big football fan. Maybe he got the message?

Costas' remarks are also important because they drew a response from the National Rifle Association, something the tragedies in Tucson and Aurora failed to do.

NRA executive VP Wayne LaPierre said in a PR appearance on an NRA radio show that his phone started ringing "the minute" Costas made the remarks from people who were "just disgusted."

"They tune in to watch a sporting event, meanwhile what they get in regard to this cold-blooded murder that took place is they get a national sportscaster whining about his social agenda that he wants adopted to ban firearms and ban handguns," said the hyperbolic LaPierre.

I understand the position that worries about gun control infringing on a legitimate right of people to own guns for sport, defense or collecting. I grew up hunting and fishing and still roam that world. I can't comprehend, however, the NRA's position that the other side can't even make an opposing argument. But the organization has always relied more on its political muscle and pocketbook than a deft PR hand.

To his credit, Costas stood by his remarks after taking some fire, saying: "I am emphatically not backing off from anything I said."

Also, give him PR points for making his remarks as "God Bless America" poured over the PA.